SPI Cinemas

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Coordinates: 13°03′23″N 80°15′33″E / 13.056355°N 80.259151°E / 13.056355; 80.259151

SPI Cinemas
FoundedApril 1974 (1974-04)
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Kiran Reddy (MD)
ParentSPI Group Private Ltd.

SPI Cinemas is an Indian multiplex chain and film production company owned by the SPI Group, headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The company began operating multiplexes in Chennai, and eventually expanded to several states in India. SPI is often lauded for its premium quality and inexpensive pricing.[1][2] Its theatres, primarily Sathyam Cinemas, are often used by filmmakers for film premieres and audio launch events.[3] Popcorn served at SPI Cinemas has received considerable praise from film goers and the media.[4]

SPI is notable for being the first multiplex operator in India to equip its screens with the Dolby Atmos and Auro 11.1 sound systems.[5][6]


Sathyam Cinemas was originally named the "Royal Theatre Complex" and was built by Raja from Venkatagiri in April 1974.[7][8] With a capacity of 1,255 seats, it was the largest multiplex built in Chennai at the time.[9]

Kiran Reddy, the current CEO of SPI Group, revealed in a 2012 interview with The Hindu that Sathyam Cinemas was acquired by his family "from someone" in the 1980s. It was acquired for real estate purposes with no intention of continuing the theatre business. He claimed, "The intent was to demolish the Sathyam building. The theatre wasn't a viable business if you looked at the value of the land." However, when he got involved in the business, the family had made several improvements to the theatre.[10] Reddy had taken over the business in 1999 and continued developing the theatre, adding three more screens and refurbishing the existing three.[11]

In 2009, SPI Cinemas established itself as a film production company, producing its first film, Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru.[12] SPI Cinemas is one of the key movie distributors in Tamil Nadu and has forayed into the music business with Think Music to distribute Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movie soundtracks via digital media and Purplenote to distribute non-movie contemporary music.[13]


In June 2017, Swaroop Reddy, President, SPI Cinemas, said that the company is looking to strengthen its presence in the South with new launches planned in Puducherry, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai in the next 9-12 months. It is also looking to grow beyond metros and will look at tier-II cities in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. “We see strong movie-going population in these regions,” Reddy said. Places under consideration are Guntur, Tirupati, Nizamabad, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchi and Vellore. The company already has presence in Coimbatore and Warangal.[14][15]

Proposed acquisition[edit]

In August 2018, PVR Cinemas announced its intention to acquire SPI Cinemas for over 850 crore (US$120 million) in a cash-and-stock deal.[16] The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.[17]


State/Territory City Theatre Name Theatre Locality Number of Screens Ref.
Tamil Nadu Chennai Sathyam Cinemas Royapettah 6
Escape Cinemas Express Avenue, Royapettah 8 [18]
S2 Perambur Spectrum Mall, Perambur 5
S2 Theyagaraja Old Theyagaraja Talkies, Thiruvanmiyur 2
Palazzo Cinemas The Forum Vijaya, Vadapalani 9 (including one IMAX) [19]
Coimbatore The Cinema Brookefields Mall, Krishnaswamy Road 6 [20]
Puducherry Pondicherry The Cinema Providence Mall 5 [21]
Karnataka Bengaluru The Cinema GT World Mall, Magadi Road 5
AURA Ascendas Park Square Mall,Whitefield 4
Maharashtra Mumbai Le Rêve Old Globus Cinema, Bandra 1 [15]
S2 Cinemas Old Haseen Cinema, Bhiwandi 4 [22]
Kerala Trivandrum Kripa Cinemas Thampanoor 2 [15]
Andhra Pradesh Nellore S2 Nellore Old Raghava Cineplex, Pogathota 3
The Cinema MGB Felicity Mall 5
Archana Cinemas Ramji Nagar 1
Leela Mahal Vidya Mahal Center 1
Guntur The Cinema KSP Prime Mall, Naaz Center 5
Telangana Warangal S2 Warangal Girimajpet 5
Hyderabad S2 Cinemas Noma Talkies, Mallapur 4


  1. ^ "Hollywood praise for Sathyam Cinemas!". Behindwoods. 31 October 2012.
  2. ^ Naveena Vijayan (15 April 2014). "Luxe Takes Movie Experience Beyond the Conventional". The New Indian Express.
  3. ^ Lata Srinivasan (1 November 2012). "Ang Lee praises Sathyam Cinemas". The Times of India.
  4. ^ Sudhir Srinivasan (14 May 2015). "Chennai's corny tradition". The Hindu.
  5. ^ Aaron Almeida (5 December 2012). "Dolby launches its Dolby Atmos audio platform in India". Firstpost.
  6. ^ Bill Mead (25 November 2013). "Technology in review: Asia embraces digital, 3D and immersive sound". Film Journal International.
  7. ^ N. Ramakrishnan (27 December 2013). "Chennai has a big role to play". Business Line.
  8. ^ "Sathyam Cinemas Selects Qube for All Screens of Its Flagship Multiplex at Chennai, India". Business Wire. 27 June 2007.
  9. ^ Nitya Menon (27 November 2013). "The changing scene". The Hindu.
  10. ^ Shonali Muthalaly (23 February 2012). "Reddy Made In Chennai". The Hindu.
  11. ^ Sreedhar Pillai (15 December 2006). "And now, the multiplex mania". The Hindu.
  12. ^ Shalini Shah (7 August 2009). "A first for Sathyam". The Hindu.
  13. ^ "About Us".
  14. ^ Swathi Moorthy (14 June 2017). "SPI Cinemas to have 25 more screens in South by March 2018". The Hindu Business Line.
  15. ^ a b c Sreedhar Pillai (15 October 2016). "Chennai's famous Sathyam cinemas expands to Mumbai, Pondicherry, Hyderabad". Firstpost.
  16. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (12 August 2018). "PVR set to acquire SPI cinemas in a cash-cum-stock deal valued at over Rs 850 crore". The Economic Times. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  17. ^ Lidhoo, Prerna (5 March 2019). "Foreign investors bullish on India's growth story; 4 must-buy ideas by William O'Neil India". Moneycontrol.com. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  18. ^ Prince Frederick (18 June 2013). "Let the show begin". The Hindu.
  19. ^ Subramanian, Karthik (3 November 2014). "The long wait for IMAX". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  20. ^ V. S. Palaniappan (6 December 2011). "The Cinema @ Brookefields opens tomorrow". The Hindu.
  21. ^ https://www.facebook.com/spicinemasindia/posts/1063621670444289
  22. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (18 June 2018). "SPI Cinemas to expand in Mumbai". Twitter.

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